After we moved in one of the neighbors asked Mom, “Do you know what the smell in that house is?
It is water moccasins, they stink. That’s why the last renters moved out four or five years ago. ”
Now my mom hates snakes, they terrify her, but the rent price was too good to resist. We stayed. One time when we were gone a few days, my little sisters found a shed snake skin in their dresser drawer. Yuk.
My brother, Jim and I married and lived in Idaho and Wyoming respectively, but Mom and our younger five siblings were still living in that old house in Texas. One phone call Mom related this story …
“ You know how the pipes are always breaking in this house until now they always broke close to the edge. I could patch them without getting very far under, unfortunately, this time one broke way down under the house.”
“Oh, no!” I sympathized.
“Yea. I decided it was worth paying a plumber.”
“Don’t blame you.”
“Well, none would come, all know the place. Couldn’t beg or bribe them to. With clothes and dishes stacked high, I finally decided I had to fix it, myself. I took my screwdriver, a piece of hose, two hose clamps, a knife, and a flashlight and proceeded to belly crawl under the house to find that troublesome pipe. It was wet and nasty, I’m flashing my light everywhere – someone told me that water moccasins won’t come to a light, so I’m flashing that light and crawling through the dark slime. Between two joists I spy the broken pipe and I can only reach it by laying flat on my belly with arms outstretched. I’m hurrying as best I can to get the hose and clamps on.”
“Just finished tightening the last clamp down when I feel something wet on my foot. I catch my breath and try not to move a muscle, hoping it will crawl over and go its way. To my horror, instead, I feel this thing slowly creeping up my leg, then my back. Holy Moly, I think I am good as dead. It seemed like it was forever… it slides over my shoulder by my face…. It was a kitten!!! I didn’t know whether to hug it or kill it. ”
“Thank God,” I laugh relieved.
“Aged me forty years, right there. If it happens again, I’ll move or do without water .” Never going under there again.”
Mom still maintains, “It is one of the scariest things that ever happened to me.” If you knew my mom, that is saying something.
This is one little tale of the multiplied woes of a single Mother.
By: Tonya Stevenson